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Pac 12 Stock Report, Week 5


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Pac 12 Stock Report, Week 5

Pac 12 Stock Report, Week 5

The Pac 12 enjoyed another strong weekend for national prestige as Oregon and Oregon state won, UCLA’s win got them back in the rankings and Arizona State improved to 4-1 and is looking solid as a rock. To my surprise, the Sun Devils still haven't slipped into the rankings. Stanford suffered a setback in hostile Seattle, however the upset by Washington helped propel the Huskies into the Top 25. Upsets on Thursdays are something to set your watch to. USC and Utah were both idle last Saturday, and will square off Thursday night.

Hey if this is your first time checking out the Pac 12 stock report...The above chart is the power rankings of the Pac 12, similar to what I do for the Big Ten. The buying/holding/selling stock in a team is relative to preseason expectations, making a better bowl, or surprising the league and competing for a division title. Just because I’m buying a lot of stock in a team doesn’t mean I think they are better than USC or Oregon. Now that we are all in sync, let’s get after it!

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Buying - Arizona State

Buying - Arizona State
Photo by Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
I am buying this Sun Devil team hard. This program lost their final four games a year ago before getting destroyed in the bowl game. They had roster and staff turnover. Expectations were in the basement for old Sparky and now look at ‘em. ASU is 4-1 (with a very narrow loss at Missouri) and has Colorado upcoming. After CU they have four straight ranked teams. For now et’s be a worried ASU fan and say they lose three of those games (I think they can beat UCLA at home). That is still 6-4 with Washington State and Arizona left. Again, let’s be a worry wart type fan and say they split those two games. I don’t know why, maybe WSU turns the corner, maybe injuries, maybe because its an in-state rival on the road. Anyway, that would be 7-5. Who in their right mind thought Arizona State would win seven games in the off season? And this is with predicting the worst over the next seven games.
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Buying - Oregon

Buying - Oregon
Photo by James Snook-US PRESSWIRE
Against an opponent no one could get up for, the Ducks shook off a lazy (and sloppy) start to still double up Washington State, 51-26. Even the most ardent Alabama fan must have at least some concern over the Ducks. They remind me of (and this will probably upset Oregon fans) one of those national title USC teams. They play good defense and get no credit for it because they are so flashy on offense. The Ducks are a fun team to watch. I'm so glad the odds of Iowa playing Oregon this year are extremely low so I can enjoy UO without the worry.
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Buying - Oregon State

Buying - Oregon State
Photo by Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE
A tough, tough road trip to Tucson against a very hungry Wildcat team, and OSU came away with the win. The Beavers next two games, Washington State and @BYU, are both winnable, especially if the Beavers turn in a defensive performance like they did against UCLA. Winning both games would improve OSU to 5-0 and possibly have them staring at a Top 10 ranking. For a team that went 3-9 a year ago and had (undeserved I might add) a coach on the hot seat, who could have predicted this? Wonderful story so far. There are six games left the Beavers will be favored in. Simply put, wow. Depending on an upset or two (and the result of the Civil War), the Beavers may win the Pac 12 North and blow everyone’s mind.
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Buying - UCLA

Buying - UCLA
Photo by Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Shame on us for writing off UCLA for a home loss to what now appears to be a rock-solid Oregon State team. The Bruins bounced back with a dominating road win at hapless Colorado. The offense is humming and the defense continues to make strides. Unless ASU or Arizona enter the polls before then, the next ranked team UCLA faces will be November 17th, meaning there are plenty of wins out there for Mora’s squad.
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Holding - Arizona

Holding - Arizona
Photo by Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE
Okay, so the OSU loss drops them to 3-2 (0-2) which means they are now in a pretty deep hole to win the Pac 12 South and their next four opponents are all currently ranked. I may not be buying Arizona anymore, but I still like the improvements this team has made under Rich Rod and a bowl is still very much a possibility. If there was anything between a buy and a hold, I guess I would slot the Wildcats there.
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Holding - Stanford/Washington

Holding - Stanford/Washington
Photo by Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

I am grouping these teams together because I don’t know what that game last week told me. Is the real Stanford the team that beat USC, or the team that looked bad aginast UW. Is neither of the previous mentioned options the real Cardinal team, and thus a third creature will develop soon.

What about Washington? Is the real team the squad that can play amazing defense to top Stanford, or the one that was waxed by LSU? Will they have a third look the rest of the season? Who knows.

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Holding - USC

Holding - USC
Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
There's just something about the Trojans this year that gives me pause. They don’t have the usual pop that we expect. Struggling with Syracuse and losing to Stanford should also cause some concern. They are still a lock for a bowl and have as good of odds as anyone else to win the wide open South, but as of now, they have not lived up to the preseason expectations.
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Selling - California

Selling - California
Photo by Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
The ASU loss now drops the Bears to 1-4 and 0-2 in the league. With five more ranked teams to go and the two most winnable games on the road, a bowl seems like a long shot. The question now is, will the administration listen to the noise coming out of Cal nation and actually pull the trigger and fire Jeff Tedford, the school’s all-time winningest football coach.
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Selling - Utah

Selling - Utah
Photo by Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Until this team can play a complete sixty minutes, especially on offense without Jordan Wynn, I will have doubts about the Utes. The better question is, who wouldn’t have doubts about this club? Through four games they have the 96th best scoring offense and only the 44th best scoring defense. They don’t run well (114th), or pass well (105th). The next three are all against ranked teams (two of which are on the road), so things in Salt Lake City could get worse before they get better.
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Selling - Washington State

Selling - Washington State
Photo by James Snook-US PRESSWIRE
A week after letting Colorado pull a fast one on them, the Cougars did compete with Oregon, for a half at least. They don’t have the talent on either side of the ball that is comparable with any Pac 12 squad, so the losses will rack up again this year. Despite the loss, the Oregon game shows that Mike Leach has his kids playing hard and buying in, which bodes well for the future.
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Worthless - Colorado

Worthless - Colorado
Photo by Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Okay, so I’m being a little mean. After all, they are ahead of WSU in the rankings, but CU is 70th in passing (WSU 12th), 107 in scoring (to 84th) and has the 114th ranked D (to 97th). Even with the win, the Buffs are a much worse team than the Cougs. Let’s also remember WSU is 2-3 to CU’s 1-4. Anyway you slice it these two teams are bad, but things in Boulder are just a little worse than they are in Pullman.
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Pac 12 Stock Report >> Week 4

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